When I recognized my mood had shifted from enthusiasm to frustration I saw the opportunity to identify my fear as not having enough time to complete what I had hoped and label the fear as perceived rather than actual danger. Acknowledging this immediately granted me power to let go of the need to accomplish any more than I already had. I was able to re-evaluate the situation, find a stopping point in my cleaning, and get back to a more enjoyable task with trust that there is plenty of time, because what doesn’t happen today can always happen tomorrow! Many of us experience unnecessary stress because of irrational fear and unrealistic expectations or extreme standards, but this doesn’t have to persist. We have the power to shift with our thoughts, and every moment is an opportunity to reboot our thinking. The next time you catch yourself experiencing an unpleasant feeling like stress or irritability ask yourself, “Is this fear…what am I afraid of? Am I in danger, is my life in jeopardy, or am I putting unnecessary pressure on myself to be or do more than I already am?!”
The Dalai Lama also shared the value of community in dealing with such fear and stress. Talking with friends or family can really help to normalize the experience, but sometimes we need the safety of sharing with an understanding professional who will not judge and can also help dispute your critical self judgements. If you struggle with fear of inadequacy, stress of not getting it all done, or the need to continuously be better my hope is that you will consider reaching out. Know that you are not alone and that there is an alternative to feeling chronically frustrated, disappointed, and stressed. You do not have to wait until you are in crisis; you can get help whether you reach out to a best friend, a mentor, or contact a professional. I am always available for a free phone consultation to discuss how to deal with your fear for a recovered sense of joy and happiness. Even if I am not the best fit for you I can direct you into helping hands.